Originally offered by member Cheryl...
I have a prayer file of ideas that I have collected from various places, some of them are:
1) Prayer Rocks
I lay out big baskets of calico fabric and let the kids cut their own fabric for their prayer rock using a square cardboard template. (about 5 inches square depending on the size of rock you have) make sure rocks are large enough not to pose a choking hazard. Laminate the poem or print on card stock, and have a hole punched in the corner. Kids place a rock in the center of the fabric square and tie it shut with ribbon, then add the poem and tie again. Kids also enjoy adding stickers to the edges of the poem, there are also small praying hands and small sun and moon stickers available.
2) Prayer Calendar
Create a calendar which I'll distribute each first of the month. This month is January 2001 and at the top left corner the date and year. Then the children have a place for their name and a prayer request they might have for the entire year. Under that in column format, there is an area for thanking God for what He has done for us. At the top there is an area for the children to draw or color a picture for that month and under that is the calendar with boxes for each day. The daily boxes is where the children will write someone or something they will pray about all that day. To get started, I have already written on the Sundays to pray for our church and church family and on Wednesdays to pray for Awana and World Outreach. Then, under all of that is an area to write where God answers prayer.
3) Formal, just talking and singing
There are several scripture passages to help reinforce these lessons. A few of my favorites are: Ephesians 5:20, James 5:13-16, Jeremiah 29:12-13, Matthew 7:7. You could tell the students that there are different ways to pray - first, formal prayer. Then teach them a prayer to learn at home and recite in class. Such as: "I love you, God with all my might. Keep me safe all through the night. Amen." The craft that day could simply be coloring pictures of a child praying. The second way of praying is just talking to our Lord. Praise Him and thank Him and simply talk to Him. Then have the student draw a picture of him or herself praying to God. I would then ask that they hang the picture in their bedroom to remind them to pray. The 3rd form of prayer is singing. The kids absolutely love this lesson, based on Psalm 100. "Make a joyful noise unto the Lord. . ." Play a cassette tape of Christian music and teach the children a new song. Then make your own instruments - we made ours out of toilet paper rolls that we decorated and filled with beans or rice. We then went outside and had a little parade in which we sang and played our instruments.
4) Types of prayer
Here is how I teach the children about the kinds of prayer. We make prayer beads. All ages can do this and learn from it. By hanging the beads in their bedrooms, they are reminded to say all the prayers.
For each set you need:
1 small wooden cross with a metal hanging ring
22" lacing cord
2 red beads - red is for praise - we praise our Lord
2 green beads - green is for thanksgiving
2 blue beads - blue is for repentance - we are sorry and want to do better
2 yellow beads - yellow is for asking - the colour of trust and hope - we
trust God to answer our prayers
2 white beads - white is for dedication - we dedicate our day to God so
that we may show His love in the world
Start by threading the cross onto the centre of the cord. Thread a white bead on each side, followed by a yellow on each side, then blue, then green and last red. Tie the ends together.
Tell the children to start their prayers with the red bead. God asked us to put him first. Then at the green bead, say a thank you prayer, at the blue ask for forgiveness for the things they did wrong, at the yellow say prayers for the people they care about. At the white, remember to offer their day to God and at the cross say the Lord's Prayer as Jesus taught
5) Pray for other countries
I put up a world atlas on the wall and every time we come together I pick out a child and as we stand in one accord this child prays for a country and then we put a wall pin on that country.
Create a box containing small items representing things we can thank God for - I've used a stethoscope (thank God for doctors/nurses), a Christmas tree ornament in the shape of a musical note, a picture of a snowflake (things in nature), a toy police car (thank you for policemen), a pocket Bible (thank God for his Word), another tree ornament that's a church, etc. Have each child choose one item from the box, then when they bow their heads and hold their chosen item in their hand, each one takes turns thanking God in prayer for the item they've chosen. (Adapted from The magazine, "Evangelizing Today's Child.")
7) Handprint prayers
Recently my church celebrated a national prayer day for kids and I wanted to share with you some of the things we did. When the children arrived I got them to put handprints on a banner. Later on in the morning I asked the kids what they think they could change in the world with prayer and we wrote those on the banner with markers. We will keep this as a reminder each week. They came up with some great things like, people who are sick, on drugs, wars, saving people for Jesus, helping our church grow etc. We also made a plaster handprint of each child and when it was dry we decorated it and wrote on it our prayer creed: Prayer - Anywhere, anytime, anything.
8) We use actions:
With both hands raised: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be your name.
With arms crossed in front: Your kingdom come.
With arms stretched out at sides: Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
With arms stretched out at sides everyone joins hands: Give us this day our daily bread.
Shaking hands with one next to you: Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us.
With hands folded in prayer: Lead us not into temptation,
With both hands raised: but deliver us from evil. Amen
Alternate: Lord's Prayer in sign language...just
search Lord's Prayer in American sign language on the net, print it out and make
9) Construction paper chain links.
Each Sunday each student writes a name on a chain link and it gets stapled onto the chain. If they want to keep it private they just draw a heart (meaning it's known in their heart only). When we say our opening prayer at the beginning of class we include all those on the prayer chain, both old and new additions, as a special part of our prayer.
I personally just started the paper prayer chain last week, and it is about 8 feet long. We will do this for at least a month, then go through and take out them answered prayers, so they can see that prayer really does work.
I hope this is helpful! -- Cheryl